If you have watched Ahmad Ismail's press conference on the TV3 8pm news I am sure you will be feeling the same way like I am now. I feel even more offended now.
Ahmad has remained defiant and worse he has repeated what he said about Chinese Malaysians in his press conference. Ahmad said that he was referring to pre-independence reality when he said that Chinese Malaysians were mere squatters.
My question to him is why must he, a leader of the 21st century, still insist on looking backward and not forward? This is the main problem with a number of UMNO leaders. Why keep insisting on the pre-independence social contract when a society and a nation is supposed to develop and to grow closer?
What is there for Ahmad to achieve if he keep going back to the past and in the process keep our communities apart and divided with his sharp and insensitive remarks?
In his press conference, as usual, Ahmad blamed the press for misinterpreting his remarks. I heard what he said in his press conference. I do not doubt what was reported by the media. Ahmad should not try to find scapegoats for his own folly and arrogance. He has refused to apologize and even demanded that reporters are the ones who should make an apology for distorting his speech.
Whatever the context, reminding the Chinese community that their forefathers were squatters in this country is totally unacceptable. Ahmad should know better. Many Malaysians can trace their roots back to somewhere around the region. We are a mercantile society.
If UMNO leadership does not take a stern action against Ahmad, I am afraid the point of no return has been breached.
To the MCA and Gerakan leaders who had earlier accepted Najib's apology, this press conference is slap on their face.
Ahmad's press conference was attended by leaders of all 13 divisions in Penang. At the conference, there were many more Ahmad Ismails.
Reported in Malaysiakini.com, other local Umno leaders such as state secretary Azhar Ibrahim, Bukit Mertajam division leader Musa Syeikh Fadzir and Bayan Baru division chief Mohd Zain Omar joined Ahmad to rap virtually everyone who objected to Ahmad’s rally speech.
Azhar blasted the relevant Sin Chiew Daily reporter as ‘idiotic’ saying that “the reporter and the newspaper should be held responsible for inciting racial hatred and conflict.”
Ahmad called Gerakan acting president Dr Koh Tsu Koon as a “great liar and opportunist”, and said Gerakan can always “get out from Barisan Nasional.”He even claimed BN would not have lost in Penang in the last general election if not for the incompetency of former Chief Minister Koh and Gerakan.
“We fully back Ahmad on this issue,” Musa told newsmen, rejecting outrightly Najib's apologetic gesture.
But the most intimidating threat came from former Bayan Lepas assemblyperson Mohd Zain, who warned “non-Malays to be extra careful with their deeds and words.”
“Don’t disturb and push the Malays too much. Don’t think we are quiet.“We can retaliate very aggressively,” he thumped home amidst applause from supporters.
Mohd Zain rapped Chinese and Hindus of “blowing up Muslim conversion issues out of proportion while at the same time, being quiet on Christianity conversion issues.
In another report from Malaysiakini.com, Gerakan Vice-President and Bukit Bendera Chairman Teng Hock Nan has today issued an ultimatum - that the Gerakan Bukit Bendera division will “disassociate itself” from the Umno division chief if he continues to refuse to apologise for his allegedly racist remarks.
I am afraid now the party has to disassociate itself from the whole of Penang UMNO.